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Doctrines & Morals

The Feast of St James, the Apostle

2 Cor. 4:7-15, Mt. 20:20-28. Today we celebrate the Feast of St James, the Apostle. James was the brother of John and they were the sons of Zebedee, “sons of thunder.” They had been fisher men before being called by Jesus to leave their nets and follow Him. James was privileged to be present at the scene of Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus daughter and the agony in the Garden. Our readings remind us that even though James was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus, he was not perfect. In today's first reading, Paul speaks of the followers of Christ as vessels, not made of precious metal or priceless gems, but earthen and clay jar, yet are privileged of having the Most Precious, we are vessels of the Lord Jesus. In today’s Gospel, the mother of James and John makes a request of Jesus. She wants her two sons to have the places of distinction, sitting right next to Jesus in His Reign. 

Jesus asks James and John if they are willing “to drink the cup” which Jesus will drink – an illustration to sharing in the ministry of Jesus, even unto death. They assertively affirm their willingness. Jesus remarks that they truly will follow in the steps of their Master, even to the point of suffering and death, yet the place of honour in the Reign of God is reserved to be given by the Father. The other disciples were angry when they heard of this seemingly unfair power-grabbing effort from the two Apostles and their mother, but the Lord firmly revealed what it truly meant to be His followers. To be a follower of Christ is not like being followers of the other lords, kings and leaders of this world, as the latter sought for power and influence, for fame and glory and for other worldly pursuits. Instead, to follow the Lord meant suffering, to be prepared to endure the sufferings that may come our way and following the Lord may also mean facing difficulties and challenges that may come our way as we carry out the will of God.

Lord help us to be willing instruments in Your hands, to serve those around us as You came to serve and not to be served! Amen!! Remain safe and happy weekend!!!

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